Monday, July 10, 2006

Stunning unity … ambivalence

Stunning unity … ambivalence:

The Presbyterian Outlook (free registration required)
Three votes. Three stunning votes. A fourth stunning vote, too.

After months of relentlessly intensifying drumbeats pounding the threat of an impending split about to befall the PC(USA), 91% of this GA’s commissioners voted to stay together.

After two years of pitched conflict over the Presbyterian Church’s relationship with and advocacy toward Israel and Palestine, this GA proposed a new approach, and 94% of the commissioners voted their support.

After 30 years of wresting over ordination standards, after vote upon vote being adopted by narrow, sometimes paper-thin margins, the 217th General Assembly rejected an attempt to eliminate the fidelity-chastity ordination requirement with 81% support.

Those nearly unanimous vote counts were stunning.

One other vote, the most anticipated vote of the Assembly, stunned the Assembly by its close margin.
Jack Haberer, editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, has weighed in with some comments regarding the Peace, Unity and Purity Task Force report. As a member of the Task Force, he felt it necessary to avoid commenting in it in the Outlook while it was before the General Assembly, but such constraints are no longer in force.

His comments today are, as usual, worth reading.

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